This is a powerful article by teacher Gerry Garibaldi. Gerry doesn’t discuss the root causes of this condition –the ‘war on drugs’, but that would have been a much longer article.
In my short time as a teacher in Connecticut, I have muddled through President Bush’s No Child Left Behind act, which tied federal funding of schools to various reforms, and through President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative, which does much the same thing, though with different benchmarks. Thanks to the feds, urban schools like mine–already entitled to substantial federal largesse under Title I, which provides funds to public schools with large low-income populations–are swimming in money. At my school, we pay five teachers to tutor kids after school and on Saturdays. They sit in classrooms waiting for kids who never show up. We don’t want for books–or for any of the cutting-edge gizmos that non-Title I schools can’t afford: computerized whiteboards, Elmo projectors, the works. Our facility is state-of-the-art, thanks to a recent $40 million face-lift, with gleaming new hallways and bathrooms and a fully computerized library.. . . [From “Nobody Gets Married Any More, Mister”: Welcome to our urban high schools, where kids have kids and learning dies.]